A Few Ways to Practice With or Without Drums

“Independence, four-way coordination, and ambidexterity are such huge subjects,” says Thomas Lang in a recent video lesson filmed for Modern Drummer by DrumChannel.com. “One way of getting into this is just conditioning your brain to understand what is happening. Here are some exercises you can do on the drumset or away from the drumset to help.

“I want you to play two notes with [each foot]: right, right, left, left. At the same time, count out loud: ‘one, two, three.’ Now you are playing in four with your feet and counting in three. Once you practice that for a while, start clapping your hands on the one.

“Then you can flip it around and play three with the feet and four with the hands

“Also, I like to do some left-hand warm-up exercises with 16th notes and quarter-note accents.

“Remember, you have to develop technique and independence first, and then there is a point when you have to think musically so you can compose in a conversational concept on the spot.”